Sustainable business opens major economic opportunity says new report

  • 17 January 2017

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has welcomed the findings of a landmark report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) which reveals that sustainable business models could open economic opportunities worth at least US$12 trillion – creating up to 380 million jobs a year by 2030.

The new report – Better Business, Better World – has been developed by a group of over 35 CEOs and civil society leaders including ICC Secretary General, John Danilovich. The BSDC initiative was launched one year ago with the aim of inspiring business leaders to drive implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – often known as the “SDGs” or “Global Goals”.

The BSDC’s headline finding is that putting the SDGs at the heart of the world’s economic strategy could unleash a step-change in growth and productivity. Analysis presented in the report suggests that SDG-related markets have the potential to grow two to three times faster than average GDP over the next five years – with many “unicorns” (start-ups valued at over US$1 billion) already finding major success in these sectors from mobility systems through to circular manufacturing.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Mr Danilovich said: “The report makes clear that sustainability is no longer a luxury investment: it’s a core driver of business productivity and growth in the 21st Century. The Global Goals have created enormous opportunities for businesses willing to put sustainability at the heart of their operations.”

Many companies are already taking action to support implementation of the Global Goals – but as the BSDC report highlights, more widespread business action is required to address global challenges such as climate change and forced migration.

Mr Danilovich added: “We believe the SDGs should be known as the BDGs – the Business Development Goals. There is a huge opportunity for business to drive the transition to a better and more just world. We want the BSDC report to inspire a new generation of business leaders who put sustainability first because it makes plain business sense.”

Better Business, Better World was launched at the Philanthropreneurship Forum in Vienna, Austria, and will also be discussed at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

To access the report, visit the Business & Sustainable Development Commission.